Rachel Spence reviews the exhibition Tiziano at the Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, on view through June 16, 2013.
Spence writes: "Whatever his subject, the Venetian master always dissolved intellect into imagination; conceptuality into organic compositions. No wonder he is the painter’s painter; the touchstone for Rubens, Velázquez and Delacroix. (The latter said that all great painters were Titian’s 'flesh and blood.') Yet the Scuderie exhibition complicates this narrative in intriguing ways. The clutch of familiar masterpieces – the Uffizi’s winsome 'Flora,' the Louvre’s enigmatic 'Man with a Glove' – are a thrill to behold. But it is thanks to a remarkable core of mid-to-late religious paintings that a different Titian emerges: darker, deeper, more explicitly spiritual; anticipating Caravaggio in his experiments with light and shade."
Martin Herbert talks to Seamus Heaney about Titian, poetry, and painting on the occasion of he cross-disciplinary Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 sponsored by the National Gallery, London. The exhibition/event invited visual artists, poets, choreographers, and composers to respond to three Titian paintings in the National Gallery.
Heaney, Herbert writes, "chose to write about The Death of Actaeon – in, as he says, 'a sonnet and a half; 14 lines, then six.' ...In Titian's painting, a horror show of a scene glimpsed through the gorgeous brown blur of the Italian’s late loose paint handling – the atmospherics and dreamy openness, perhaps, creating room for another creator to later inhabit it – we see the hunter sprouting horns as the dogs race towards him... 'I always thought of the stag as the thing in that painting, and it was the physical weight of the antlers that I felt,' says Heaney, 'and at the end Ovid says about Actaeon's companions that they're cheering on the hounds. The irony of that, I felt, should be a bit cruel – cruel and ironical at the same time.”
Gilbert writes: "There's a dead Christ with the Virgin Mary and St. John by the great Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini -- emotional and simply yet subtly colored -- and a mythological scene that some think is an early Titian. But the excitement in this small show is in discovering great works by artists who are obscure compared to those titans," including Moretto da Brescia, Giovanni Battista Moroni, Bergognone, Vincenzo Foppa, Giovanni Cariani, Bartolomeo Montagna, and Andrea Previtali.
As part of his blog series about slow looking James Elkins ponders the "ferociously difficult" question of when a painting is finished. He examines 'unfinished' paintings from a number of painters including Parmigianino, Cezanne, and de Kooning "map[ing] out three of the fundamental ways that paintings can be unfinished, because thinking about how something is unfinished is just a little clearer than thinking about how it's finished."
"David Brenneman, Director of Collections and Exhibitions and Francis B. Bunzl Family Curator of European Art, talks about Titian's 'Diana and Callisto,' one of the paintings featured in the current exhibition at the High Museum, 'Titian & The Golden Age of Venetian Painting.' " The video has great zoom ins and close up views of the painting in addition to Brenneman's commentary.
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.